HIV risk higher among Indian women who are abused by husbands

August 12, 2008

Married women in India who experience physical and sexual violence from their husbands have an increased risk of HIV infection, compared with women who are not abused by their husbands, according to a study in the August 13 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on violence and human rights.

"India is home to approximately 2.5 million people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the third largest number of cases of any country in the world, and is recognized as the source of increasing HIV prevalence among its South Asian neighbors," the authors write. "Despite reductions in prevalence of ... infection among the general population of India, women account for a rising percentage of all HIV cases, with husbands' risk behavior described as the major source of women's infection. Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been described as being associated with heterosexual transmission of HIV to women in India and elsewhere."

Jay G. Silverman, Ph.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, and colleagues conducted a study in 2007 and 2008 to assess the relationship between experiencing IPV and the occurrence of HIV infection in a nationally representative sample of married Indian women tested for HIV. The researchers analyzed data on 28,139 married women who provided IPV data and HIV test results as part of a national family health survey conducted across India during 2005 and 2006.

Approximately one-third of married Indian women (35.49 percent) reported they had experienced physical IPV, with or without sexual violence, from their husbands. About one-fourth (27.8 percent) reported experiencing physical IPV without sexual violence, while 7.68 percent reported both physical and sexual IPV. Approximately one in 450 women (0.22 percent) tested positive for HIV.

"In this first national population-based study of the relationship of husbands' violence against wives to wives' HIV infection status (as indicated via diagnostic testing), married Indian women who experienced both physical and sexual IPV demonstrated an HIV infection prevalence approximately four times greater than that of non-abused women," the authors report.

Physical IPV alone was not associated with the risk of HIV infection. Women's personal sexual risk behaviors (condom use and multiple partners) were not associated with HIV infection prevalence.

"Prevention of IPV may augment efforts to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS," the authors assert.

"Findings of the present study, based on both the large population-based sample and the use of standard diagnostic testing for HIV infection, should serve to confirm the nature of this relationship and move public health policy-makers and practitioners to increase recognition of IPV as a critically important target in the global fight against HIV/AIDS," they conclude.
-end-
(JAMA. 2008;300[6]:703-710. Available pre-embargo to the media at www.jamamedia.org)

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

For more information, contact the JAMA/Archives Media Relations Department at 312/464-JAMA (5262) or e-mail mediarelations@jama-archives.org.

The JAMA Network Journals

Related HIV Articles from Brightsurf:

BEAT-HIV Delaney collaboratory issues recommendations measuring persistent HIV reservoirs
Spearheaded by Wistar scientists, top worldwide HIV researchers from the BEAT-HIV Martin Delaney Collaboratory to Cure HIV-1 Infection by Combination Immunotherapy (BEAT-HIV Collaboratory) compiled the first comprehensive set of recommendations on how to best measure the size of persistent HIV reservoirs during cure-directed clinical studies.

The Lancet HIV: Study suggests a second patient has been cured of HIV
A study of the second HIV patient to undergo successful stem cell transplantation from donors with a HIV-resistant gene, finds that there was no active viral infection in the patient's blood 30 months after they stopped anti-retroviral therapy, according to a case report published in The Lancet HIV journal and presented at CROI (Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections).

Children with HIV score below HIV-negative peers in cognitive, motor function tests
Children who acquired HIV in utero or during birth or breastfeeding did not perform as well as their peers who do not have HIV on tests measuring cognitive ability, motor function and attention, according to a report published online today in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Efforts to end the HIV epidemic must not ignore people already living with HIV
Efforts to prevent new HIV transmissions in the US must be accompanied by addressing HIV-associated comorbidities to improve the health of people already living with HIV, NIH experts assert in the third of a series of JAMA commentaries.

The Lancet HIV: Severe anti-LGBT legislations associated with lower testing and awareness of HIV in African countries
This first systematic review to investigate HIV testing, treatment and viral suppression in men who have sex with men in Africa finds that among the most recent studies (conducted after 2011) only half of men have been tested for HIV in the past 12 months.

The Lancet HIV: Tenfold increase in number of adolescents on HIV treatment in South Africa since 2010, but many still untreated
A new study of more than 700,000 one to 19-year olds being treated for HIV infection suggests a ten-fold increase in the number of adolescents aged 15 to 19 receiving HIV treatment in South Africa, according to results published in The Lancet HIV journal.

Starting HIV treatment in ERs may be key to ending HIV spread worldwide
In a follow-up study conducted in South Africa, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have evidence that hospital emergency departments (EDs) worldwide may be key strategic settings for curbing the spread of HIV infections in hard-to-reach populations if the EDs jump-start treatment and case management as well as diagnosis of the disease.

NIH HIV experts prioritize research to achieve sustained ART-free HIV remission
Achieving sustained remission of HIV without life-long antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a top HIV research priority, according to a new commentary in JAMA by experts at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

The Lancet HIV: PrEP implementation is associated with a rapid decline in new HIV infections
Study from Australia is the first to evaluate a population-level roll-out of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in men who have sex with men.

Researchers date 'hibernating' HIV strains, advancing BC's leadership in HIV cure research
Researchers have developed a novel way for dating 'hibernating' HIV strains, in an advancement for HIV cure research.

Read More: HIV News and HIV Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.